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Poster: jonc Date: Nov 7, 2008 5:40am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Quick questions on PD films pre-1978

As I understand it the PD/copyright status of films pre-1978 cannot be checked online, is that correct or ?

Some can. Films produced from 1923 to 1963 had to have their copyright renewed at the end of 28 years. For example, a film produced in 1960 had to be renewed on January 1st, 1989. I don't recall if they needed to be renewed one time, or every 28 years. k-otic should be able to answer this.


This post was modified by jonc on 2008-11-07 13:40:36

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Poster: straycat111 Date: Nov 7, 2008 6:03am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Quick questions on PD films pre-1978

Thanks for that info, jonc. I'm just staring to inform myself so all input is helpful. Being involved in music for a few years I remember the 70s changes in that field, but I need an education on the film PD/copyright nuances such as you've mentioned.

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Poster: jonc Date: Nov 7, 2008 7:30am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Quick questions on PD films pre-1978

This page is very useful for reference:

http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/public_domain/

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Nov 7, 2008 6:11am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Quick questions on PD films pre-1978

Basically you can search for any copyright office record 1978 onwards online. This means registrations and renewals. Because movies had to be renewed in their 28th year after publication, renewals are available for films back to 1950.

In the early 90s the Berne implimentation act took away the need to renew. So only items made before 1 Jan 1964 need to be renewed.

Up until 1978 films required a copyright notice. No copyright notice put the film instantly in the public domain.

If a film released between 1 Jan 1978 and 1 March 1989 had not copyright notice it could be registered with 5 years of publication to get copyright protection.